- When in doubt, brute force is the answer.
- What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine. Anything I see is mine, even if I haven’t seen it yet.
- Randomly yelling “NO!!” is therapeutic, even if someone wasn’t talking to you.
- “No” is the answer for all questions. Always.
- Mommy & Daddy can read minds.
- Food is discretionary. Have Mommy make a meal and only eat one bite.
- Better yet, just look at the food. Don’t touch it.
- No, no. Touch it by flinging it across the room. Watch it fly!!!
- Or taste everything.
- Then spit it out.
- Then smear it all over the floor, the walls, clothes and TV. Woo-Hoo!
- New toys are great, but only in someone else’s house. Once the same toy is at home, don’t play with it.
- Call out for Mommy every 2 minutes. Even if you don’t need her. Just make sure she is there. Keeps her on her toes.
- The second you see an adult close their eyes, jump on them.
- Repetition is the key to getting what you want. Just keep asking. They’ll cave.
- Sleep is unnecessary. Fight it all the way. Unless you are in the car for a really short journey. Then it’s perfect.
- Getting dressed is a game. See how quickly Mommy will chase you.
- Nothing gets their attention faster than poop.
- Screaming is valid form of communication. The louder the better.
- When all else fails, run.
I registered my little girl for Kindergarten today. I’m not ready. She’s not ready. OK, maybe she is, but I’m not. I’m not prepared for someone else to spend more time with my child during the day than me. I’m dying here just thinking about her running into hooligans on the playground. Having her away from me for a whole school day (8.45am-3pm), five days a week just seems wrong. She’s my girl. My life. She belongs with me.
She only began preschool this year at aged 4, almost 5. That was hard. But this? This may kill me.
I’d love to home-school her, but then I’d be drunk by midday, everyday. I tip my hat (with a hint of envy) at those who are able to do such a daunting task. I wish I had it in me, but I don’t. I feel like a failure for not having the ability to do it.
- Kids don’t sleep. The phrase “sleeping like a baby” is there just to torment you. Babies rarely sleep, unless they are being held or attached to a boob. Other than that, they’ll spend possibly their first two years waking every two hours. Yes, I said years. You will become a zombie whose sole purpose in life is to keep the kid(s) alive until bedtime. At such a time, you will (again) go to bed desperately hoping tonight will be the night that (s)he sleeps through the night. It won’t.
- Pictures of kids with food all over their faces are never cute. Ever. Even though you think your cherub is adorable, no one else will. The older the child, the more horrendous it becomes.
- Stop buying toys. The most entertainment your child will get from any toy is watching you impale yourself on it a hundred times, mostly in the middle of the night (see #1) when you’re trying to be quiet.
- You will become that parent. That will be anything that annoyed you before you had kids and vowed you would never let your child do.
- Young children are uncivilized little beasts with zero self-control who give you a glimpse of what it is like to live with a mental patient. Oddly enough, you will worship these illogical, egocentric time bombs.
I’ve noticed a lot of new types of posts on Facebook lately. Lots of ladies in the 40’s and 50’s getting new pets and frankly, they are obsessed. I’ve watched ducks have their own photo shoot, a dog being ordered a plate of carpaccio in a restaurant and another dog was treated to well over $1,000 of accessories. I look at these pictures and think these people are nuts, when the truth is that they are all suffering from empty-nest syndrome. Two of the three examples I gave have adult children who have recently flown the coup, and the third has a teenager.
As mothers, we pour love out to our children daily and when they are gone, we still have lots of love to give. That’s not something that can be turned off. Once a mother, always a mother. So these women I am watching are simply transferring all the love they have to offer to their pets, and really, who am I to judge?
It’s actually something that scares the crap out of me – the thought of my children not being with me, not living with me. I know, mine are only small right now and there are many days that I just tear my hair out, but one thing that I always realize and acknowledge is that there will very much be a day, and probably not too far away, where I will miss this craziness. I watch my 3 year old and 5 year old tear naked through the house and I marvel at how precious they are. They can be hellions but they are my hellions, masters of madness created by my own body.
There are still days where I forget to brush my hair, or I only get to shower right before bed. In a way, I am grateful for that craziness. I have a full, rich life and I don’t want it to change. But time will march forward without a care for my wants. Every night before I go to bed, I go into their bedroom and kiss their little sleeping faces. My heart aches for their preciousness and I curse every day that they get older. I remember my daughter being two days old, and I already wanted time to stop. My father told me, “just wait, it only gets better,” and I told him I couldn’t imagine anything better than what I felt at that moment. But it was true, I love watching and learning about my children. I get to discover what they like, what’s important to them. Interact with them, watch them learn, watch them change.
But I still want time to stop.
I’m just looking at an article regarding the new school lunch requirements that have been put into place, effective this upcoming summer. Here’s what I’m reading (full article here):
“The School Nutrition Association has asked Congress and USDA to only require that 50 percent of foods be whole grain-rich, to suspend the 2017 sodium requirements and to stop requiring students to take a fruit or vegetable.”
Frankly, I’m speechless. Sure sure, kids won’t want it to start with. Whatever. Kids also don’t want to go to bed at an appropriate time, or get dressed, or do homework, or etc. etc. etc. . .
Guess what a hungry child will do? Eat. It may be rough to start with while kids adjust to less processed food, but to request that standards be lowered leaves me speechless and angry.
How about we stop trying to please children and do what’s best for them? How about schools stop worrying about sales dips? How about we start putting our children first, ahead of business needs and profit margins?
I don’t understand. Or actually, I do. I understand that the food industry has to change how their food is marketed to kids, how the ingredients have to become a little more healthy and that they can’t laden down all foods with salt and sugar to make it appealing to the underdeveloped taste buds. That puts a dampener on the industry’s activities and profits. Well too damn bad.
Stay tuned . . .
In striving to be average, I try to keep it real. This parenting thing is hard. So damn hard. But so few people really talk about this. Everything is supposed to be sunshine and rainbows, I’m supposed to be madly in love with my children at all times of the day, have infinite patience, UN negotiation skills, never ending energy, and do it all with a smile on my face.
I am grateful that my children are in my life because my soul became complete when they were born. They have taught me what unconditional love really means, in receiving it and giving it. I am blessed so much. But let’s be realistic. I don’t always like my children.
I appreciate other parents who are willing to be honest about this struggle. Thank you for the nod of understanding when my child misbehaves. Or suggesting “it must be nap time” when my youngest had a meltdown in the grocery store, instead of just assuming he was a rotten kid. Thank you for recognizing that kids have ‘off’ days too and sometimes, we won’t even know what is going on with them until a few days later (sickness hits or a growth spurt, or they are worried about some upcoming event). Overall, my kids are very well behaved, but like us adults, they do have days where they just aren’t feeling right. It doesn’t matter what I do, most times it is beyond my control.
Thank you for the kind words when it becomes clear I’m in over my head. That even though I am an adult, with a psychology & sociology degree, I am still sometimes stumped, frustrated and anguished by the little people I created. Thank you for telling me your stories of how you have struggled, because I feel like less of a failure when you do. Thank you for being real with me.
I am not Mary Poppins, Lucille Ball and Martha Stewart all wrapped into one, and I absolutely don’t want to be. I want to be good role model for my children, I want them to be happy, healthy children, who most importantly, are given the opportunity to be children. I want my children to realize how amazing they are and that’s it’s OK to have a bad day. I can teach them how to pick themselves up, look forward, try again. In my struggle to parent, I can show them that we can always try to improve, try harder when we want to. Because I do share with them when I struggle with parenting (at least my 5 year old understands me), and I let them know when Mommy needs to try harder. I apologize when I am in the wrong – when I haven’t listened properly or I’ve yelled. I let them know I am not perfect and that they deserve to be treated with respect and love. And then I try harder.
I teach them that their actions have consequences, and are also opportunities for learning. That parents are not blank walls that can be subjected to unlimited blasts of toddler and preschool whims and tantrums. That their choices directly affect their day and the outcome of any situation. Just like it does for Mommy and Daddy.
Maybe, just maybe, by being an average parent, I can teach my children the coping skills needed for the imperfect world they live in.
I have a 5 year old daughter. Politely, she is called a “spirited child” but in reality, she’s a hurricane, and a tornado. An intense child who feels
things everything passionately. Everything. She will love you hard, she will hate you hard, her anger parallels the wrath of God. She will outsmart you in the worst possible way, because she will do it subversively. Not until she is close to her goal will I realize what she has done. She will miss you, hug you, love you, like you’ve never experienced before. To me, she is awe inspiring. A force of nature. I look at her and she takes my breath away. But it’s not easy.
This week has been particularly hard because her little brother turned three years old on Monday. That means he received presents and she didn’t. My first glimpse of this joy happened last year when she was four, and he two. I’m hoping it gets better with age. On the day itself, she did pretty well. But the week has proved very challenging. She has taken to hiding his new games. And on reprimand, the attitude comes out. Oh my, the attitude. She’s a little body with a huge personality. Often times, she just can’t control what comes out, because she feels it so fiercely. Many times, she can astound us with how controlled she can be.
She just discovered that a friend of hers colored a page of her coloring book. The unused coloring book that hasn’t been given a second glance since she received it. Ever. But suddenly, she was indignant that a page was used. Despite imparting to her that the page was used with my permission, she would not quit. There are just some things she focuses on and as with everything else of her nature, the laser beams are set.
In a fleeting thought, the ‘perfect parent’ would have sat her down and explained everything ad nauseam until she understood. Instead, I walked upstairs to do laundry after Daddy told her she couldn’t have the coloring book anymore (she never uses them, this isn’t a big loss here). She quickly followed me, hysterical, because I’m the easy parent. So I tried to do the right thing. I sat with her on my bed and I talked to her about how the used coloring page was a present from her friend, a surprise for her. But the only thing she could focus on getting that coloring book back from Daddy. Daddy took it away and she wanted Mommy to give it back.
Unfortunately, despite my calm discussions, she exploded and began something that she hasn’t done in years. She threw a tantrum. So now she sits in her room, quietly. Oddly enough, since she is an extrovert, sitting in her room (not a hardship here, there are toys and books in there) for a while seems to center her and she usually emerges a much calmer person.
I’ll take some deep breaths.
Is it bedtime yet?
How To Put A Toddler To Bed in 100 Easy Steps
- Announce that it’s time to go to bed.
Wait for your toddler to stop crying
Explain that bedtime is not a punishment
Explain that bedtime is not a new concept.
Explain that, yes, bedtime will happen every night.
Console your toddler.
Announce that it’s still bedtime.
Let your toddler know that we don’t call names in this house.
Tell your toddler it’s time to go upstairs.
Watch your toddler move at a snail’s pace.
Wait for your toddler to stop crying.
Pick up your toddler.
Walk your toddler upstairs.
Pick out the wrong pair of pajamas for your toddler
Pick out another wrong pair of pajamas for your toddler
Explain that the right pair of pajamas are in the wash.
Explain that you will not be doing a load of laundry this evening
Console your toddler while he/she cries
19 Explain that in this house we don’t call names
- Watch your toddler struggle to get into his/her pajamas
Ask your toddler if you can help.
Continue watching your toddler struggle.
Watch your toddler try to wear a pair of pants like a shirt.
Console your toddler.
Put the wrong pair of pajamas on your toddler.
Announce that it’s time to brush teeth.
Explain the benefits of dental hygiene.
Console your toddler.
Carry your toddler into the bathroom.
Put a microscopic amount of toothpaste (poison) on to the toddler toothbrush.
When your toddler opens his/her mouth 1/45th of an inch wide, attempt to clean teeth
Your toddler will attempt to spit in the sink, but will actually spit on the counter. Clean it up.
Console your toddler.
Ask your toddler to pick out two books.
Toddler will pick out the two longest books in your home.
Read the first line of every third page of the two books.
Field unrelated questions and interruptions.
Tell toddler it’s time for a goodnight kiss.
Toddler will be suddenly and urgently thirsty, give toddler a small drink of water.
Toddler will ask a question. Answer question.
Say “goodnight” and kiss toddler.
Toddler will ask for a hug. Hug toddler.
Toddler will take up a sudden interest in potty training and ask to use the bathroom. It’s poop.
Help toddler in the bathroom. Notice that there is no poop.
Todder may become afraid. Assure toddler that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Toddler will ask a question about life. Answer question.
Toddler will need another hug and kiss. Give hug and kiss.
Toddler needs to urinate. Help toddler in the bathroom. Notice that toddler actually urinates.
Toddler requires a sticker for urinating successfully.
Put a sticker on toddler’s potty chart.
Toddler may want to tell you a brief ten minute story. Listen to story while backing out of the room.
Turn off the light.
Toddler remembers that he/she needs a special stuffed animal.
Ask where the stuffed animal is.
Toddler tells you it’s in the car. Find your keys and look in the car. It’s not there.
Look in the living room.
Look in the kitchen.
Look in the backyard.
Scout the neighbor’s property.
Find the toy in your toddler’s room, under the bed.
Ask toddler if he/she knew the toy was under their bed.
Toddler will ask for dinner. Explain to toddler that dinner ended hours ago.
Toddler will cry that he/she is hungry. Explain to toddler that he/she should have eaten said dinner.
Explain that we do not call people in this house names.
Toddler will ask for hug and kiss. Hug and kiss toddler.
Toddler will ask you to help arrange his/her pillows and blankets. Arrange pillows and blankets.
Toddler will ask you to three essay questions. Answer them.
69. Toddler will notice that the tag end of the blanket is next to his/her face and will kick it off. Fix blanket, this time with care and precision.
Toddler will ask for the hall light on. Turn on the hall light.
Toddler will ask for another story. Explain that there will be no more stories.
Toddler will ask what the plan for tomorrow is. Resist the urge to say, “I won’t be here. I’m running away tonight.”
Tell toddler “goodnight.:
Toddler will say his/her back, legs, or butt is itchy.
At your discretion, try to relieve itchiness through lotion or wipes.
Put toddler back in bed.
Arrange blanket in the proper formation.
Toddler will say “Goodnight.”
As you reach the door, toddler will inform you that he/she is not wearing socks.
Choose the wrong pair of socks for your toddler.
Choose another wrong pair of socks for your toddler.
Choose the right pair of socks for your toddler.
Put the right pair of socks the wrong way on your toddler’s feet.
Put the right pair of socks the wrong way on your toddler’s feet.
Get the right pair of socks the right way on your toddler’s feet.
Use your last thread of energy to stand.
Toddler will say “goodnight.”
As you leave the room, toddler will ask for a sip of water with pathetic sad look on face.
Give toddler sip of water and beg to be released from this hades.
Toddler will ask for a back rub/tapping.
Tap toddler’s back until you lose feeling in your arm and your toddler seems tired.
Slowly stop tapping. Stand up. Try to float out of the room.
Toddler will look at you. Say, “it’s time to go to bed.”
If toddler cries, pretend to be serious this time.
Act like you’re walking downstairs but just linger by the door, out of sight.
You may now relax for 2-5 minutes before you’re called back in. Congrats!
- See more at: http://www.thehonesttoddler.com/2014/03/how-to-put-toddler-to-bed-in-100-easy.html#sthash.5NQBOzn3.dpuf